There are over 50 online ULCs’ operating independently from Modesto. In the Monastery’s last conversation with Modesto, we were reminded of Kirby Hensley’s brilliance and vision that anyone can get ordained to be a pastor or wedding officiant. In spite of Modesto’s track record in recent times, all Universal Life Churches owe them reverence and gratitude from the heart.
The Universal Life Church Monastery is incorporated as an active non-profit organization in the State of Washington (UBI# 602649207). With legal recognition that allows members to conduct weddings in forty-seven states, the Monastery has foreign corporations set up in nine states plus the District of Columbia in order to meet local requirements within these jurisdictions.
Three states yet to recognize the ULC Monastery are Tennessee (except Knox County), Virginia (except Spotsylvania County), and Pennsylvania (except Bucks County). For all other locations, the staff works with county clerks to ensure that any current, locally required documentation for ministers to perform weddings is made available on the site. The Monastery is proud to say that no wedding performed by a ULCM minister has been annulled due to lack of legal recognition, and clerks in many locations often recommend the organization to couples looking to tie the knot.
The Early Years
The early history of The Monastery in Seattle has rarely been publicly understood. The documents below outline that The Monastery was originally a homeless shelter, inspected and condoned by Rev. Hensley and Rev. Zimmerman as a place of worship, understanding, and celebration through dance. The original Monastery existed from 1977 – 1985, at which time, due to the acceptance of all ages, races, and sexualities, it was the target of many fundamentalists who objected and could not conceive that all of God’s children could celebrate with each other under the same roof.
For years Daniel Zimmerman served as administrative assistant to Kirby Hensley. Zimmerman was sent to visit the Seattle Monastery as ULC’s investigator in the early 1980′s. At that point in time, the Modesto Church and Zimmerman worked to defend The Monastery from the biased and unfounded actions of the City of Seattle and King County’s Prosecuting Attorney for 29 years, Norm Maleng. Maleng, who also ran as a Republican nominee for governor of Washington in 1988, 1996, and 1992, lost every election but Seattle’s County Prosecutor for 29 years. Most of the Monastery’s attacks were systematically planned by Maleng and his “private attorney” friends.
The Monastery has stepped up to the plate to show the leadership that the Universal Life Church needs. With a fresh start, the Monastery is untainted by the bankruptcy and deceptive tactics of the Universal Life Church scam in Modesto. The Monastery caries the torch of the ULC, allowing hundreds to get ordained everyday as well as fighting for the rights the ministers, all the while advancing the notion that “We are all Children of the Same Universe”.
The ULC Monastery regularly makes donations to charitable foundations to strengthen communities across the country. Gifts are given to a wide variety of causes that reflect the many different backgrounds and beliefs of the churh’s ministers. They most recently embarked upon Facebook campaigns in partnership with these organizations in order to raise awareness before making donations on behalf of ministers. These campaigns resulted in thousands of shares online, informing the Monastery’s followers of the work done by respective institutions and detailing reasons why they need support. While the church encourages members to donate directly to these organizations, it does not accept donations on their behalf; the funds they donate come directly from the headquarters by any money made on their website.
Charitable donations are fundamental to adhering to our church doctrine. As an ecumenical and interfaith organization, the Monastery’s community is diverse and we focus on understanding and inclusion. Officials look forward to continuing their work and expanding the list of partners as needs arise, and suggestions pour in from members. Being a ULCM minister makes one an ambassador of a socially conscience and compassionate organization that is known for helping those in need.
Charitable outreach is one pillar of the ULC Monastery, but its primary function is to ordain individuals to perform a wedding, start a church, or any other ministerial act reserved for members of the clergy. Many famous figures have chosen to get ordained online through the Seattle church. From comedians such as Russell Brand (Rock of Ages) and Conan O’Brien to musicians like Alanis Morissette and Scott Underwood of the band Train, many celebrities join the Monastery to become legally-recognized wedding officiants. Weddings have been performed by ULCM ministers on several television shows and rock tours.
With the Monastery working with national and local charities to raise funds and awareness, as well as ordaining many famous figures, the press has understandably taken notice. From college news to national newspapers, many journalists have chronicled the events of the ULC Monastery. Weddings being a large focus of the church, bridal magazines have not only published stories about the Monastery, but in the case of Brides Magazine, actually worked with church officials to put on special events like a mass wedding in New York City. Having national attention adds credence to the validity of the organization and its ministers.
Photos From Our Sanctuary
With many ministers in good communion, the ULC Monastery regularly holds celebrations. Holidays offer a chance for ordained ministers to gather in fellowship with one another, discuss church business, and share stories of the works they have done. The Monastery has also hosted weddings performed by presiding Chaplain Br. Martin. The Sanctuary decor and the guest list reflect the great diversity of ministers.
The ULC Monastery is the largest congregation of Universal Life Church ministers online. As Martin Luther held,… we are not bound by Rome, but guided by the need to search for the creator, of our independent conscious.
We need your prayers, your support, and if you are ordained somewhere else, join us.
The Road to Jericho
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” – First Amendment, United States Constitution
The timeless words of the First Amendment could not be any clearer, however many states across this great nation have placed hurdles in the path of ULC ministers. With the United States Constitution at its side, the Monastery has challenged the constitutionality of discriminatory, anti-ULC laws. There is still a hostile presence in the air, and until the persecution has ended, our fight will continue.
Inspiration can be taken from many sources, including the story of Joshua:
“Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5
Joshua’s story recounts the march of Israelites through the land of Canaan; the most salient and best-known story is that of the Battle of Jericho. In an act of obedience and perseverance, the Israelites, under Joshua’s command, marched around the city walls for six days, and on the seventh day the walls fell to the fanfare of trumpets and a mighty shout.
Some states have erected unconstitutional fortifications around the “Sacrament of Marriage”. The Monastery is marching, laying siege to the unconstitutional walls of injustice and demanding access to First Amendment freedoms and rights. The barriers of inequity will fall.
The road to Jericho will be long, and as mentioned in the parable of the Good Samaritan, fraught with difficulty. The Monastery embraces this challenge and solicits your support, prayers, guidance, and strength, to unite in a collective search for truth. The march shall continue until the walls of the new Jericho come crumbling down.
Articles of Incorporation
The Universal Life Church Monastery Storehouse is registered in the State of Washington and operates across the United States. You may review our Articles of Incorporation, as filed with the Secretary of State, for the State of Washington. These articles are available for you in either PDF or HTML format.